It seems to be something of a mini trend for bars to partner with nearby or even next-door restaurants. Most bar owners seem to want to focus on the alcohol and not have to worry about all the problems associated with serving food. Yet they recognize that their customers might want something to eat while they drink. And generally speaking, it's probably a good idea for the drinkers to have something in their stomachs.
Ocean Sun Brewing announced that it would allow customers to order food from La Fiesta Mexican restaurant when the two became neighbors on Curry Ford Road. And Hourglass Brewing in Longwood has an open-door policy with Wako Taco -- literally; there is a door from the bar to the restaurant so people can order without going outside. And when the food is ready, someone from Wako will find them in the bar to deliver it.
That's the setup at Big Time Street Food Co. in Thornton Park. There is a doorway from the nascent food operator into Burton's Bar, the longtime dive that has been a fixture of Thornton Park before it was Thornton Park. Order some food at the takeout-only Big Time and you can walk through the doorway to Burton's and wait for it at the bar. You can eat it there, too, if you like.
I chose to take my purchase home but enjoyed a beer while I waited. My only complaint is that the food came out too fast and I still had beer in my mug.
I had ordered the Burton Burger (I mean, how could I not?) and the Delaney Cheesesteak. I was a bit disappointed that when I requested my burger medium-rare the fellow behind the counter said that the patties were thin can cooking to a lower temperature wasn't possible. Disappointed but not surprised. I decided to spring for some cheese for 99 cents to go atop the $5.99 burger. And I got a $2 order of fries.
As long as we're talking about prices, let me explain why I didn't order any appetizers. I thought the Buffalo Cauliflower Bites and Fried Cheese Curds sounded interesting, but they were priced at $6.99 and $8.99 respectively. I find it morally wrong to charge more for appetizers than for the "main course," though admittedly there's a fine line when it comes to this food.
Despite the thin patty, the burger was good, not at all Burtonlike but dressed with onions, tomato, and a thin wisp of lettuce. The bun was sufficiently soft, and the almost-a-buck cheese melted all over.
The cheesesteak ($9.99) was said to made with beer cheese, though the substance seemed more whizzy in its consistency. Grilled onions mixed with the chopped meats gave the sandwich extra oomph.
The fries were waffle cut and good, with plenty of "meat" to chew on.
Big Time Street Food Co. occupies a space that, according to one of the people working there, "was nothing" before Big Time took it over. I have to admit I don't recall a business there but I'm pretty sure something occupied the address at some time. Regardless, Big Time obviously did extensive renovations and added a proper kitchen.
And can I just vent a niggle? Am I the only one who's tired of the "street food" category? I'm ready for the next big thing to come along and be done to death.
Big Time Street Food Co. is at 805 E. Washington St., Orlando. It is open for lunch Saturday and Sunday and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. There is no website but the menu is posted on its Facebook page. The phone number is 407-801-5464.